Plen-tea of thanks to our Planned Giving donors

Mary Bell © Kirsten Andersen

The National Arts Centre Foundation held its annual Emeritus Circle Tea on the afternoon of May 21 to thank those donors who have provided a gift for the future through a bequest in their will, a gift of life insurance, or other planned giving arrangements.

Donors were treated to an open rehearsal of the Canadian premiere performance of the newly relaunched Dance Theatre of Harlem Company which closed the 2013-2014 NAC Dance Season later that evening. After the rehearsal, donors enjoyed high tea in Le Salon, followed by a discussion with NAC Dance Executive Producer, Cathy Levy, who expressed her heartfelt appreciation for their support.

At the event, Jayne Watson, CEO of the National Arts Centre Foundation, also thanked the donors. ”Your future gifts are crucial in helping the NAC provide a national stage for Canada’s performing artists and inspire the next generation of artists,” said Ms. Watson.

On hand for the Emeritus Circle Tea was planned giving donor Mary Bell, who has 17 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The octogenarian dynamo has a wonderful sense of humour and still goes to the gym regularly. After the Emeritus Circle Tea, she took a few minutes to share her thoughts about the National Arts Centre:

What was your first impression of the National Arts Centre?

MB: Something marvelous!  Back in 1969, nothing would happen after 8 pm in Ottawa. They used to roll up the sidewalks!

What do you value most about the National Arts Centre?

MB: The NAC showcases great Canadian talent. In the past I had always thought Canadians looked to the U.S. and the U.K. for talent. In fact, I met a director who worked at Stratford who told me that they would go to Chicago and London to find actors to audition.

What does the Emeritus Circle Tea mean to you? 

MB: It’s wonderful recognition of donors. It’s nice to see people who contribute and to meet new people.

What does your family think of your involvement with the NAC?

MB: My grandson was proud to see my name on the donor wall.

What do you tell friends about the National Arts Centre?

MB: I tell them about what the NAC is doing and how important the work is. Dance and English Theatre especially are my favorites.

To learn more about making a bequest to the National Arts Centre Foundation, please contact Barry Bloom at 613-947-7000, ext. 314, or

Join more than 6,500 champions of performance, creation and learning by supporting Canadian artists, educators and students through the NAC Foundation.

Join our email list for the latest updates!